Singing nuns

Nunsense, A-men! Theatre on the Ridge Sat., Jan. 22 Shows Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m. through Feb. 19.

Thirty years is a long time for a theater company to survive, but last weekend Theatre on the Ridge in Paradise kicked off its 30th season with a bang-up staging of Dan Goggin’s hilarious musical comedy, Nunsense, A-Men!, directed by Joel P. Rogers.

The play is set in Hoboken, N.J., at the Mount St. Helens school auditorium and follows five individually eccentric nuns (all played by male actors—A-men, get it?) known as the Little Sisters of Hoboken, or “Little Hobos,” performing songs and dances (and one ventriloquist act) as they raise money for the convent.

There’s Sister Mary Robert Anne (played by Jeremy Shull), the disappointed understudy to the rest of the acts—or, as she sings it, “Playing second fiddle.” Jeffrey Childs is Sister Mary Amnesia, the “lost soul” who remembers nothing about her identity except that a crucifix fell on her head, and Bryan Zoppi is the young and dainty Sister Mary Leo, who entered the convent to dedicate her life to God through dance, plans to become the first professional ballerina nun and demonstrates her skills enthusiastically throughout the show.

Finally, Rich Holst and Rogers himself play Sister Mary Hubert and the Reverend Mother Mary Regina, respectively, who at one point conduct a session together on “Baking with the BVM” (the Blessed Virgin Mary, of course) with a cookbook for Catholic cuisine by “Sister Julia, Child of God.”

The cast members are hysterical in their performances of the witty numbers, such as "Rock the Convent," "Tackle That Temptation" and especially when boldly declaring how "Holier Than Thou" they are in the show’s finale. This show demonstrates just why TOTR has lasted 30 years.